VENTIMIGLIA – Demonstration in memory of Moussa Balde. Against borders, racism and institutional violence!
Ventimiglia, Sunday 21 May 2023
Concentration at 11 a.m. piazzale della stazione
Moussa Balde died in the night between 22 and 23 May 2021 in a cell in the isolation area, called Ospedaletto, of the CPR (detention centre) in Turin. On 9 May he had been beaten up in Ventimiglia by three Italians and after being hospitalised he was locked up in the detention centre, ignoring his serious physical and psychological condition. Moussa, originally from Guinea, was detained as a non-European and irregular person on the territory, and therefore died in the confines of a cell. Moussa’s death was neither ‘fatality’ nor the result of a chain of failures, but the consequence of the structural racism of the system in which we live.
Two years later, the situation in Ventimiglia has, as unbearable as it is to admit, become even worse. After almost eight years of the French government’s closure of the border, which has directly killed at least 42 people and devastated the lives of thousands more, the violence suffered by people in transit continues to increase. In the last two months alone, an ‘anti-degradation’ ordinance has been passed targeting informal settlements and the people who inhabit these places, adding to police operations that are as scenic as they are violent for those already forced to live in conditions of extreme marginality.
In the first few months of the year, more than forty thousand people have landed on Italian shores, demonstrating the absolute unsustainability and senselessness of the policies of refoulement at sea wanted by the Meloni government. In the last few days, with the approval in the Chamber of Deputies, the so-called Cutro Decree has become law and this will lead to a further worsening of living conditions and access to rights for asylum seekers and other forms of protection. With the declaration of a state of emergency, the funding contained in the PNRR, and the new provisions of this infamous law that bears the name of a massacre, the Meloni government and its interior minister Piantedosi aim to create a mass detention system that tramples on migrants’ legitimate aspirations for freedom. This is the only way to interpret the desire to open a CPR in every region and the transformations taking place in the primary reception system.
In this context, the French state continues to reinforce the control and rejection mechanism at the internal border, reproducing and empowering the racist and arbitrary violence of the French police forces along the entire border.
Completing this picture are the bilateral agreements that Italy and France continue to sign with countries on the other side of the Mediterranean such as Libya and Tunisia, effectively making themselves responsible for the increase in shipwrecks and rejections at sea by coastguards and border forces paid with European money.
The scenario for the coming months at the French-Italian border, although still full of unknowns, is therefore by no means reassuring and requires the activation of all forces of solidarity. We will not stand by and watch the structural racism of this Europe destroy human lives without doing anything! That is why we invite collectives, movements, organisations and individuals to take to the streets with us for a demonstration that is commemorative, but also of vindication, and that can be attended by all, with or without documents. We envisage a moment that will give space for different voices to be heard, and we invite everyone to bring their testimonies, denunciations, thoughts and claims regarding what is happening in Ventimiglia and elsewhere.
For Moussa Balde and all the victims of racist border violence!
For freedom of movement for all!
Against borders, racism and institutional violence!
For the abolition and closure of all CPRs!
Freedom, Hurrya, Freedom!
Social centre La Talpa e L’orologio – Imperia
Project 20k – Ventimiglia
The family of Moussa Balde and his loved ones